Current LLL-smtx Courses

Beginning in May we are offering 5 courses all of which will be delivered via the platform “ZOOM”.  Zoom is a safe, online, real-time video communications platform that will allow our presenters and participants to see, hear, and interact.

To participate, all you need is:
        (1) An Apple, Windows, or Android internet device with a built-in or
             attached camera and mic. The device can be:
 (A)  A desktop or laptop
            computer with at least MacOS 10.7 or Windows 10 operating systems
            (best); (B) A tablet with iOS 7.0 operating system or later (acceptable)
            and (C) A smartphone (marginal) with at least iOS 7.0 or Android 4.0x
            operating systems.

       (2) Download the free “Zoom Client for Meetings” application:
            Click this link - - client_4meeting
 or paste
            it into you web browser for download.

       (3) You will receive an email to join your session by the presenter of your
            class.  When you receive the email, open it and click on the link.  Wait
            to be allowed to join in by the presenter (this is termed “the waiting
            room” which is a security measure so only class members can join).
NOTE:  Dr. Walt Pilcher will be presenting online ZOOM training sessions
for you as a group and also offering individual assistance. Date(s) and times will be provided to you when you
               CONTACT Marianne Reese of your interest to take a course(s).


 call her @ 512.216.6427



COURSE 1:      Communicating Effectively with Policymakers 

WHEN              (3) Mondays   May 11, 18, and 25
TIME                10:00 to 11:00 AM
WHERE            Your Home via Zoom
FEE                   $10.00

Course Description
Most policymakers deeply appreciate thoughtful, constructive communication from their constituents. Such correspondence is quite rare and can break through the noise of lobbyists and special interest groups.
In order to effectively communicate your ideas to policymakers it is critical to understand the political and policymaking environment in which they work… in other words, you must know your audience. It is also helpful to know what information is helpful and how best to present it in order to influence these decisionmakers.
While the sessions will focus on Texas legislators as a targeted audience, the strategies are applicable to policymakers at any level of government.


Session 1 will provide strategic insights into politics and the policymaking process to help frame your approach to presenting your ideas.   
Session 2 will provide a specific framework for crafting letters to policymakers; you will use this framework to craft a letter on a topic of interest to you.                                                                                                                     
Session 3 will allow you to share your letter and receive feedback from participants and the presenter. 

Presented by Stephanie A. Korcheck
With over 30 years of experience in state government and nonprofit education-related organizations, Stephanie has expertise in education policy and law, advocacy, and strategic communications.
As the policy analyst for the Senate Education Committee from 1992-1996, Stephanie assisted in drafting legislation creating Texas’ public school accountability and school finance systems and, during the 1995 legislative session, rewriting the entire Texas Education Code. She then helped create the State Board for Educator Certification, serving as its director of policy and planning.
At Texas State University, Stephanie served as an adjunct professor from 2001-2006 in the principal preparation program, developing and teaching a course on politics, policymaking, education law, and the school finance and accountability systems. She also served as the College of Education’s Research Coordinator for Proposal Development, supporting faculty members in securing funding for their research.



COURSE 2:        Hook and Pen or How I Spent the Covid-19 Pandemic
                                         Crocheting  and Journaling                      


WHEN             (4) Wednesdays   May 6, 13, 20 and 27
TIME                12:30 to 2:00 PM
WHERE            Your Home via Zoom

FEE                   $10.00

Course Description                          
Did you know that while Alice Walker was writing The Color Purple she was making a quilt with lots of purple and Samuel Pepys and Daniel DeFoe journaled through the Great Plague in London three and a half centuries ago?  Let’s learn to crochet. It is relaxing, takes a huge load off your gift lists and makes you look so crafty and smart.  Journaling is just good for the soul. And, you can say anything you want to your journal and no one talks back.
Join Jo Snider and Marianne Reese for this part class/part chat room group.  Jo will teach the crochet and Marianne manage the miracle of Zoom communication and together they will engage you in conversations that provide food for thought for your journal entries and assist you in acquiring a handiwork technique that will serve you for a lifetime.

You will need some yarn, a crochet hook size G to I, and a journal, paper or notebook and a pen. No computer journals! Old fashioned pen to paper. If you don’t have the yarn and hook let Jo know ( and you can mask and glove up and go to her home for supplies. There will be a nominal fee for supplies if they come from Jo.
Presented by Jo Snider
Jo is a retired TX State Department of History faculty member.  She has crocheted since she was five. In those many years, she has crocheted her way through faculty meetings, church conferences, road trips, many movies at home, even a class or two. She has also written her way out of many things that threatened her serenity or just plain pissed her off.



COURSE 3.    Matching Family Treasures to Your Genealogy

WHEN             (3) Thursdays   May 7, 14 and 21
TIME                10:30 to 11:15 AM
WHERE            Your Home via Zoom
FEE                   $10.00

Course Description     
Ever thought about using your genealogy and matching family artifacts together?  Why not learn more about the treasures you been given or inherited.
This research is about tracking and matching an ancestor to the treasures you now possess. It can additionally open up another path for further genealogy research. Genealogy is all about finding answers and detecting connections; learning the back story to your treasures. It can also provide an incentive to contact relatives who may know the story about the treasure and for you, it becomes more valuable than before.

Materials        A handout will be provided for each session.


Presented by Cindy Foreman  
Cindy Foreman has been teaching and doing presentations on genealogy for more than 20 years here in the central Texas area. She has a degree in History Education, been past President of the Austin Genealogy Society and past VP with the Wimberley Valley Genealogy Society. In 2014 she was one of a number of speakers at the National Genealogy Conference in San Antonio called FGS. She continues to do genealogy presentations and workshops upon request and teaches classes with the LifeLong Learning Program in San Marcos. Most recently she has begun to participate in Storytelling events using family genealogy. (



Course 4.       Beer Appreciation with the Beer Missionary!    

When              (4) Thursdays:  May 7, 14, 21, 28
Time                4:15-5 PM
Where:            Your Home via Zoom
Fee:                 FREE

Course Description
Think Beer is all about Coors, Bud, and Miller?  Think again!  Beer is the oldest alcoholic beverage in the world with hundreds of beer styles and a new emphasis on craft (small) and local beer.  Join the Beer Missionary as he takes you on a Beeradventure as you learn about the history of beer, how it’s brewed, and the many styles that exist!

Each class will feature an introductory session about beer followed by a beer tasting.

Class # 1: Introduction and Enjoying Beer  
                 Beer Tasting – Beers from Around the World
Class #2: History of Beer                                
                Beer Tasting – European Beers
Class #3: Brewing Process and Beer Styles    
                 Beer Tasting – USA Craftbeers
Class # 4: The Beer Revolution in the USA    
                 Local Craftbeers         
Presented by Trey Duval (The Beer Missionary)-- Cicerone Level 1 – Certified Beer Server

Currently, residing in Boston, Massachusetts but originally from Austin,
Trey has 15 years in the Craftbeer Industry. He has had a variety of beer experiences including establishing the Beer Missionary which focused on Craftbeer education and special events, serving as the Beer and Wine buyer for a group of 7 Craftbeer and BBQ restaurants, and construction, opening, and operation of a Craftbeer and Wine bar from 2007 – 2018.  His mission has always been to convert people from the “mega-brewery” beers to ones that are artisanal, higher quality, and support local businesses.


COURSE 5.     Fictional Analysis and Writing to Stave off Boredom 

When              (4) Fridays   May 8, 15, 22, and 29
Time:               2:00 to 3:00PM
Where             Your Home via Zoom
Fee                  $10.00

Course Description                                                                 
Isn’t it great that right now we all have more time to focus on things we love to
do? Take some time during the quarantine and come with me on a writing adventure. Let’s read passages from new authors, analyze their work, and share our thoughts and reactions with one another. The best part is, we get to stretch our own writing and creativity by taking those quiet moments to create something wonderful and share it with the group.
Well, it doesn’t have to be wonderful – sometimes it can just be fun to use a part of our brain that doesn’t often get unlocked. Come with me through this world of fiction and writing - take a chance on a class in a whole new format and see what seeds might be planted for when your normal returns. 
Materials        Brooke will email the readings to you
Presented by Brooke Pillifant

For 10 years, Brooke worked as a mathematics coach and teacher until she took a miserable yet hilarious cross-country car trip that propelled her into the world of storytelling. It flung her head long into performing at venues across the US. She has performed with Speakeasy DC, Mortified, RISK!, Austin Writer Roulette, Dallas’ Oral Fixation, and at several Austin backyard story nights.
Brooke founded a nonprofit, Down South Word of Mouth, dedicated to promoting personal growth, social justice, and community connection in central Texas through the art of personal narrative storytelling. She works with various groups throughout the area to help individuals craft their own narrative stories.



                         SPECIAL Event...and you are invited!

The Austin Ukulele Society's musical director, Bob Guz, will be hosting an online session on Thursday, May 14, at 7:00pm Central.    You are invited to get out your uke (if you have one) and participate in this Live Event on the Austin Ukulele Society's YouTube channel: (, where you can join Bob teaching how to play and sing a fun song (to be announced soon). We will also play Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds" and Willie Nelson's "On the Road Again" as the opening and closing songs.

The event will be accessible without logging in and you won't need any special software or a YouTube account to watch.   During the event you can share your comments and questions using the Live Chat.  (Although to comment in the Live Chat, you'll need to log into YouTube with a Gmail account ID.)

Watch Bob's previous online event, held April 9, here: During this session Bob taught how to play and sing one of the Beatles' most inspiring tunes, the 1970 hit "Let It Be."



512.216.6427 by APRIL 27th to enroll in our classes.

LifeLong Learning Organization, San Marcos, TX, 2018       Dr. Marianne Reese, Director    512-216-6427